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Bible distributors who were taken hostage by Somali pirates were killed while negotiations between the pirates and U.S. military forces were underway Tuesday morning.

U.S. forces boarded the yacht in response to gunfire, and discovered that four hostages had been shot. Two of the pirates were killed, and 13 captured in a confrontation, according to a statement from U.S. Central Command. Scott and Jean Adam's vessel Quest was taken hostage last week; 19 pirates were believed to be involved in the hijacking.

"As (U.S. forces) responded to the gunfire, reaching and boarding the Quest, the forces discovered all four hostages had been shot by their captors," the U.S. Central Command statement said. "Despite immediate steps to provide life-saving care, all four hostages ultimately died of their wounds."

Scott Adam is a master of divinity graduate from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. He also received a master of theology from the school in 2010, says Fred Messick, Fuller's associate vice president of public affairs.

The couple had expressed some unease in an e-mail sent several days before the hijacking, says Craig Detweiler, a professor at Pepperdine University, who attended Fuller with Adam.

"They acknowledged that they were navigating a global hot spot," he said. "But it was also not like them to shy away. Things grew strangely silent in the last week."

The Adams were married later in life, Detweiler said, describing Scott as having a "deeply liturgical" Anglican and Catholic faith.

"They had a rooted confidence in the authoritative power of God's word," Detweiler said. "Their notion of traveling the world and spreading the word of God connected to all that they understood about our calling in life."

The couple had ...

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February 2011

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